New play packs a powerful punch

12 October 2018

Review: Charlotte Otton, Let Me Finish ·
The Blue Room Theatre, 11 October ·
Review by Claire Trolio ·

Bold, brash and powerfully feminist, Let Me Finish is the kind of theatre we need. Written by Charlotte Otton, directed by Phoebe Sullivan, and devised and performed by five women in their 20s (Otton, Izzy McDonald, Angela Mahlatjie, Jess Moyle and Ana Ika), it is a hilarious and heartbreaking look at the experience of being a young woman in contemporary Australian society.

The play doesn’t try to represent all female/female identifying experience; the point – and power – of Let Me Finish is that it does not speak for other people. Yet at the same time the stories that are told tap into the shared experience of women in Australia, addressing, too, the intersections of race and sexuality with gender.

Five women dance in a club, having a great time until – incrementally – their space is invaded by various men. The clever twist to this opening scene is that the men are unseen. We recognise their existence only through the reactions of the women, who deploy physical and verbal techniques that are achingly familiar.

A bathroom exchange is full of laugh-out-loud one-liners; we’re instantly welcomed into the private lives of these women. This intimacy continues throughout the play’s hour duration, as the women perform, both as themselves and as other characters, in a combination of vignettes, storytelling and even an audience-driven game. In the background a romance blossoms.

These women are here, taking up space, making noise and not hiding elements of their personalities that are traditionally devalued. They are strong as well as shy, proud, kind, aggressive and much, much more. They are refreshingly real people with real lives, feelings and experiences. Even when the performers embody exaggerated versions of female stereotypes with escalating absurdity, the show is warm, inclusive and empowering. There are no apologies.

It’s a collaborative effort, and all five performers shine so very brightly.

The empowerment is contagious. It’s a punch in the face of the patriarchy and the result is that everybody wins.

Buy your tickets right away.

Let Me Finish plays The Blue Room Theatre until October 20.

Pictured top (L-R) are Ana Ika, Charlotte Otton, Angela Mahlatjie, Izzy McDonald and Jess Moyle in ‘Let Me Finish’. Photo: Susie Blatchford.

Like what you're reading? Support Seesaw.

Author —
Claire Trolio

Claire Trolio completed a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) and a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) at UWA. She writes about Western Australia for various digital and print media and owns a shop with her sister. For her, the spider swing is the ultimate in playground fun.

Past Articles

  • Gentle touch guides lunar landing 

    Balancing weight with whimsy, this children’s theatre work strikes the right chord for its target audience, writes Claire Trolio.

  • Next-gen theatre makers impress

    From the fresh and funny to the weird and wonderful, WAAPA’s Performance Making students bring fresh, incisive work at full tilt, writes Claire Trolio.

Read Next

  • Just what the doctor ordered

    Just what the doctor ordered

    29 September 2023

    Dr AudiYO uses vocal gymnastics to take the audience on a fun adventure. Junior reviewers Jackson and Chloe Davis are happy to take this prescription. 

    Reading time • 3 minutesTheatre
  • Seadragon weaves magic spell

    Seadragon weaves magic spell

    28 September 2023

    The Magical Weedy Seadragon enchants junior reviewer Isabel Greentree with a winning blend of story, song and humour.   

    Reading time • 4 minutesMulti-arts
  • Lifting the weight of the world

    Lifting the weight of the world

    28 September 2023

    Junior reviewers Jackson and Chloe Davis are taken on a thoughtful and funny journey to the Moon with one overwhelmed girl.

    Reading time • 4 minutesTheatre

Cleaver Street Studio

Cleaver Street Studio


Cleaver Street Studio